How can a company build brand recognition with product lines suited to one-time buyers?
In the home improvement space, we encounter most of our customers for one purchase in their lifetime. Although we offer multiple product lines and make customer satisfaction a top priority, getting previous customers and new customers to be a proud part of our brand is a challenge with products seen for functionality instead of flash.
Try some type of neighborhood hero program. I would guess your sales group already does it, but whenever someone gets windows you need the attention of the whole neighborhood. You could have a portable demonstration center and a keg of beer to take the message out (maybe in lakewood its a box of wine). Make a party out of it.
If you look at an aging development, you know everyone needs windows about the same time so celebrate the one. Everyone then becomes a one-time sale but at least it is more than one.
Judging from your question, right off the bat I can tell that you're not doing list-building.
When you build a list, especially a list of buyers, they will buy from you over and over again because you've built up trust with them. Your income will literally increase ten-fold when you market this way.
Brand recognition can be developed many ways in this day of business:
1) From grass roots marketing and word of mouth.
2) Traditional marketing.
3) Online/Social Media Marketing.
#1 Is simply tell everyone you know about your company, your product, have amazing testimonials from past clients, have a referral program and incentives for people to refer your product(s).
#2 Traditional marketing - Address ad mail, post cards, having workshops and open houses to bring new people in to see your product(s) in action.
#3 Online/Social Media Marketing- Build a website that is SEO friendly and is designed to capture new interested clients. Then do a social media marketing campaign that educated your past and future clients on the benefits of your product(s). Also success stories of how it has helped your clients. You can also do a paid campaign depending on your budget.
I see people are commenting on fundamental business practices
1) providing great value
2) Customer service
3) After purchase care
These shouldn't be a question of how you run your business and if there is an problem in any of these areas you need to fix them first before you start to market your company and establish your Brand.
As Josie recommended once you are ready to brand your business you can use YouTube, article marketing...etc to educate your potential clients on the benefits of your product(s). How to use it and case studies how it has helped people over come a challenge.
Best of luck Zach with your business.
I sincerely appreciate everyone's input and advice. You have collectively given me and the team here a fresh set of ideas to run with!
Brand is communicated what your business is, does and stands for - everything from your company's personality, its products and packaging to your business' values and its business practices, etc. A fully specified brand (visually and verbally - terminology, phrasing, mission, etc.) and clearly defined target customer profile(s) should lead you to the right marketing approach.
Have you asked your customers why they've used your products? What would get them to recommend your products? Are staying in touch with your customers? If so, what value are you delivering to them above and beyond the sale? What is your customers' biggest complaint about your business...?
Would your current customers of product x be interested in product y?
Perceptual differences are key to driving brand recognition and preference especially in categories where technological innovation is difficult. One company that understands this very well is Acme Brick of Ft. Worth, Texas, USA. Acme has been doing brand development work for its line of residential and commercial bricks for several decades.
In addition to traditional advertising, Acme has focused heavily on building goodwill by supporting the Aikman Foundation for Children and "The House that Juan Built" via a celebrity partnership with Texas Rangers slugger Juan Gonzalez. For the latter, Acme is donating brick to build 30 homes through Habitat for Humanity.
The results have been impressive. In a recent telephone survey of new home buyers Acme receive an 84% preference rating. No other supplier had more than 10% preference. And the bottom line is that the Acme brand is estimated to be worth an extra 10 cents for every dollar’s worth of Acme brick sold. In a typical home, this amounts to about $250 in incremental revenue to Acme.
I hope this story illustrates the crucial role that brand equity plays even in heavily commoditized categories like bricks. Anything is possible!
Hi, Zach -- Do you have a product and a structure where you could offer a "sweepstakes" or contest of sorts to satisfied customers, and then go out and snag a video of them using your product for whatever it is they use it for? This might make for an interesting asset on your website and social media ... a personal profile of the user. Prospective customers might see themselves in your videos and be influenced to make the right buying choice as a result.
Hi Zach, your business, Larmco, has different product lines that can be leveraged. If your target audience is owners of older homes, they can use several of your products at different times in their home ownership. If, for example, they buy windows from you this year, then you can offer them a discount on siding products if purchased within 12 months etc. You can also target contractors and renovators with a referral program if their customers use your products. I think you can use a combination of inbound and outbound marketing techniques to acquire customers. I also think you could use your blog more effectively, to write about issues people have with their windows, doors, siding and bathtubs and then offer solutions. You can definitely make your products more flashy by some creative marketing and advertising by connecting with your target customers so they want to buy from Larmco.
I agree with several answers given thus far Zach and think that referrals and reviews are going to be your core.
It is amazing how many businesses neglect the essential components of getting found online by the customers they are trying to connect with. Sorry for the flagrant horn blowing but our site at http://customersto.me outlines what I'm talking about.
This sounds like a company that serves a specific region. If they are not dominating local search and publishing excellent referrals and reviews to social channels within that region then I'd go so far as to say that their other efforts are a waste of money.
Since your industry is mostly a one time business its not recognition, but referrals you really want. Put together a program that rewards past customers for referring friends/family to use your services. Let's say the average job is $1500. What if the referring customer received $75 (5%) cash or credit toward another job. 10 referrals would get them to 50% of their next job of equal value. You have then solved two problems. Keeping customers and finding one's that will use you.